Wow, so it’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog, and I’ll have to curse school for that since it started back up this week. Sadly, it seems that this year is the first year where I’ll have less free time than I thought, so with a heavy heart it seems like I’ll only be able to post on the weekends, and only once a week for the forseeable future. Anyway that’s my update, but what you’re really drooling about I bet is the fact that this review is about One-Punch Man!!! One of the best manga out there, finally, on the shelves that you can buy and just geekgasm over.
One-Punch Man started as a popular web comic written and drawn by the writer ONE (a pseudonym) until Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21 artist) offered to draw the manga and actually put it into serialization. ONE agreed, and the rest is history.
One-Punch Man, for those who don’t know, is a surperhero tale about Saitama trying to find a worthy opponent to face. The fact is that he is too strong for his own good. Every time he goes up against somebody it only takes one punch to defeat, and most of the time brutally murder, them. Because of this, Saitama has been loosing emotions like excitement, adrenaline rushes, and happiness. He still goes out to fight evil, but he’s bored after every time he finishes them in just one measly punch.
Now, at this point I’m sure many people are thinking that this is the Superman effect; a character that is too OP at the beginning of the story has no stakes, and based off the first two volumes you’re right; However, instead of dramatic stakes, One-Punch Man excels at comedy and boring mundane stuff being overtly more interesting to Saitama. In this aspect, we see a scene where he learns about this super powerful foe and he has to defeat him today because the next day is a bargain sale day at his favorite store. When he faces off against his foe, and the tension is building up to be an epic fight, he remembers that the bargain day was today and accidentally punches the foe, exploding him with his fist, in panic. It’s the little scenes like this that really makes One-Punch Man shine. Saitama is just a strange odd ball that you can’t help laugh at these situations you wouldn’t find in any other manga.
Another interesting aspect of One-Punch Man is the fact that right off the bat not only do we have an OP main character, but OP villains, and what’s laughable is how easily Saitama can defeat them. I’m not sure how they do it, but each villain is stronger than the last, and the presence they show on the page is terrifying sometimes, that is until Saitama punches them and all their organs go flying. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that this series can be grotesque at times? We see body parts flying, eyes being held in a hand, blood, and body mush.
In volume two, or the end of one, we meet a new regular character: Genos. He’s a super serious cyborg that seeks to learn the ultimate way to gain strength, and upon seeing Saitama, and pardon my speech, bitch-slap a villain to death, he claims Saitama to be his master. With his inclusion we see a new character’s view that opens up the world to something larger, and gives us a new way to get comedy.
The artwork is phenomenal. Yusuke Murata is my favorite artist from Japan, and nearly all his panels are so good that it would put tons of anime stills to shame. Literally, they could just color the panels and slap them on TV and it would be a worldwide hit. I’ve been his fan ever since Eyeshield 21, and he only excels further in what he does to One-Punch Man.
Murata does some really interesting artwork. For one, not only are his images super clear and crisp, but he also works with soft focus, what you see in films where maybe a character talks during a close up and everything behind him is fuzzy. He utilizes this technique so well that it really enhances the fight scenes. Then, when Genos appears it’s astounding how metal his metal looks. You can see/feel the steam coming off his body whenever he fires his weapons. If you’re ever interested in being an artist, then study One-Punch Man, because he does a ton of interesting things that Japanese artists really utilize well, or even do.
Overall this is a work of art, probably a master piece, and something that everyone must read. An anime is coming out soon so I guess a lot of people would just wait for that, but I still say you should check out the manga. It was a digital only title for a while, but recently it got a physical release earlier this month and so far two volumes have been out.
+ Godlike Artwork
+ Interesting/funny characters
+ A new look at something great
+ Panels arranged masterfully
+ Writing is smart and on it’s toes